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* Monday, May 9, 2005

"Library Link Isn't a Good Way Forward"

Funny Foxtrot comic strip today about Wikipedia. [via my good friend Deanna]

Not so funny story about Wikipedia: for last week’s NEASIST presentation, I illustrated some ways WorldCat could be integrated into various online, non-library resources, one of which was Wikipedia. As an example, I edited the entry for The Da Vinci Code and under External Links, I added “Find libraries near you that own The Da Vinci Code” (snapshot).

Seventeen minutes later (that’s 1–7 minutes later), Violetriga removed my link, citing the very vague reason “ ‘find a library’ link isn’t a good way forward.”

WTF? Needless to say, I was beyond irked. It’s one thing to remove the link; it’s another to say it isn’t “a good way forward.” It isn’t a good way forward for whom? To where? And why not? I needed answers. So I found Violetriga’s user page on Wikipedia and left the most innocuous comment I was able to bring myself to type (version 34): “I added the link to find ‘The Da Vinci Code’ in libraries, and I’m just hoping for a more detailed explanation for why you removed it. TIA.”

I waited 17 minutes, then 18, 20, 30, 60, and then it turned into days. Violetriga answered other people’s questions, but not mine. To this day, she still hasn’t answered it. Which is probably for the best, because when I showed all of this at the NEASIST event, there was a room full of pretty ticked off librarians, all angry at one Violetriga. Even though she does good work for Wikipedia, I guess we’ll never know why the library link isn’t a good way forward. Not so funny.

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